Faculty researcher, advisor named Graduate College associate dean

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News
Photo of Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs, professor of biological sciences, will become the associate dean of the Western Michigan University Graduate College effective July 1.

Byrd-Jacobs' appointment was made pending approval of the Board of Trustees. In her new role, she will provide leadership in graduate curriculum and program development, assessment and review, and graduate student and graduate faculty success, among other areas.

Christine Byrd-Jacobs

Byrd-Jacobs, who came to WMU as an assistant professor in 1996, serves as her department's graduate advisor. She is an active researcher whose focus is regeneration of the adult brain after injury, utilizing the zebrafish olfactory system as a model. She has published 21 peer-reviewed research articles, secured nearly $2 million in grant funding and served as sole investigator on four major grants from the National Institutes of Health. In 2008, her research accomplishments were recognized when she received the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Achievement Award in Research.

Byrd-Jacobs has mentored nine master's-level students, three doctoral students and 71 undergraduate students, and she has served on the thesis committees for an additional 42 students. She teaches in the classroom at both the undergraduate and graduate level and has been involved in curriculum reform, including taking the lead to develop a professional development course for graduate students in biological sciences.

In addition to her role as graduate advisor for her department, Byrd-Jacobs serves as vice chair of the Graduate Studies Council, is a member of the Academic Program Review and Planning Project Management Team, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and the Association for Chemoreception Sciences Annual Meeting Program Committee. She also has served as reviewer for 20 journals and for national and international funding agencies.

Byrd-Jacobs earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Avila College and a doctoral degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Arizona. She did postdoctoral research in neuroscience at the University of Virginia.